Disturbing Details Surface About Homelife of Tennessee Teen Before She Went Missing with Her Teacher
Twelve days have come and gone since 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas went missing.
According to earlier reports, the teen was dropped off at the restaurant by a friend around 8:00 a.m. on March 13 and never returned home.
Authorities believe Elizabeth is with her 50-year-old health teacher, Tad Cummins, as security footage shows him getting gas before picking the teenager up from the restaurant in his silver Nissan Rogue.
Cummins was fired from the Culleoka Unit School following a suspension that stemmed from his alleged sexual relationship with the teen.
Investigators believe the 50-year-old is armed with two handguns. It is still unknown if Cummins forced Elizabeth to flee with him or if she went willingly.
Now, disturbing details about the teenager's past are coming to light.
According to Today, Elizabeth's mother, Kimberly Thomas, was arrested last year after it was revealed that she abused the 15-year-old, as well as three of her sisters.
Records show that Thomas beat her children — sometimes until they bled. She was arrested in 2016 and charged with child abuse and neglect.
As Today reports, Elizabeth allegedly told police that her mother “threw her down the basement stairs and locked her down there.”
Thomas has not yet gone to trial for these charges. Nonetheless, she is speaking out over her estranged daughter's disappearance, while also claiming she is “not guilty” of abuse.
Thomas told WHNT that she saw her daughter with Cummins over Christmas break. The mom of ten said she wanted to intervene but has a court order saying she's not allowed to be in contact with any of her children.
An emotional Thomas now wishes she would have violated the rules. She said:
“If I had done something then that would have broke the law she probably would still be here.”
"I can't eat. I can't sleep. I'm scared to death.
I don't believe she feels she's being hurt okay, but she's 15. She doesn't know any better and she is being hurt and damaged."
Today also disclosed that Elizabeth was homeschooled for most of her life. In fact, this school year was the first time the teenager had ever attended public school.
Ashley Riggins, a longtime friend of Elizabeth's, told Today that she knew the 15-year-old had a tough upbringing and explained that Elizabeth would often break down and cry.
Riggins said Elizabeth had admitted to being in a secret relationship with a man she described as “amazing and perfect,” but Riggins had no idea that she was potentially talking about their former health teacher.
Anyone with any information regarding Elizabeth Thomas and Tad Cummins's whereabouts is asked to contact the authorities immediately by calling the Maury County Sheriff’s Office at 931-388-5151 or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) at 1-800-TBI-FIND.